Seeing something for the first time is a rare and fleeting feeling. That initial breathlessness, gripping you with emotion and delight, is something we fervently search for.
It’s the feeling you get when you walk into the Cleveland Museum of Art. Whether it’s your first or 50th time visiting, the CMA achieves that jaw-dropped, whistling exhale that inevitably escapes us when we witness something of great beauty.
Generous skylights and playfully polka-dotted globes welcome visitors this Summer and Fall to the newly christened Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors Exhibit. CMA’s blockbuster exhibition spans the range of the artist’s career and features seven of her immersive kaleidoscopic Infinity Mirrors Rooms, the most ever shown together.
Born in Matsumoto, Japan, Kusama moved to the U.S. in the 50s, where she honed her unique artistic voice and curated her central interest in the concept of infinity, which is reflected in all her work.
AT CMA, you can walk through the worlds that Kusama created — and contemplate your connection to the pieces in complete isolation. Patrons are encouraged to go into the rooms alone, adding to the otherworldly aspect of it all.
The Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity gives you the same feeling you get when you look over the edge of a cliff or dream of falling. The endless void of mirrored black space and flickering golden lanterns defies science in a way only the subconscious imagination can. All the while you’re seemingly standing on a simple black platform in a room no bigger than your average utility closet.
The Souls of a Million Light Years Away achieves a similar out-of-body experience where you can reflect on the passage of time and think about your relationship to the outside world. Pop music lovers will recognize this particular installation from Adele’s 2016 performance of “When We Were Young.”
Once your soul has transcended your body from the utter brilliance of infinity mirrors and multiplying lights, step away back down to Earth to see the rest of CMA. Plan for a couple of hours — the museum is huge and rich in information and exhibits for every type of art buff. Whether you have an affinity for pop art like Andy Warhol’s Marilyn x100, or classic pieces like Monet’s Waterlilies, you’re bound to find a famous piece or two you’ve only ever seen at the movies.
Whichever room at CMA you wander into, it’s an experience worth having and one of the few times in your life you will be left speechless — art like this only exists in dreams.
For more arts & culture, Find It Here at Ohio.org.